View Full Version : Joint Operational Access Concept discussion

03-25-2012, 03:37 PM
Reposted from RFI section above:

The "Joint Operational Access Concept"was recently released:

Link (http://www.dodlive.mil/index.php/2012/01/release-of-the-joint-operational-access-concept-joac/)

It's been the subject of a fair amount of criticism, some of it deserved, some not.

It adds as a central idea "cross domain synergy" as a compliment to the Capstone Concept for Joint operations central idea of "joint synergy".

What is the difference? Some say there really is none, others treat "cross domain" as 'magic pixie dust" to solve problems.

To me its a subtle distinction. Where "domain = service" (i.e air = Air Force, Sea = Navy, and Land = Army) then Cross-service (joint) = cross-domain.

The part where discussion can gets interesting is when you start too include the "new domaains". The Joint Capability Areas (https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dtic.mil%2Ffuturejoint warfare%2Fstrategic%2Fjca_taxonomy.xls) effectively treat a wider array of "domains" then are "officially recognized":

Land, Underground, Sea, Undersea, Air, Space, Cyber, and the Electromagnetic Spectrum.

These are called out as "environments" within which interaction with the adversary can occur. The difference between an "environment" and a "domain" seems more budgetary, than operational, but that may be overly cynical on my part.

Each of the services now have requirements and responsibilities, to some extent in far more than their "home" domain. Cyber is great example as all the services have cyber capabilities and are struggling to operationalize them - particularly given the tension between tittle X (ten) and Title L (50) - military operations vs national covert operations.

How do you go from "domain = service" to "services = many domains" in the joint construct? Operational C2 today at the serivce = domain level is so time consuming that it struggles to meet required decision-making time requirements. Added a host of new coordination requirements will slow it down even more.(true?)

So does that mean, as the Army did with combined arms, a need to push coordination decisions down to lower levels? I think yes, and that the Navy and Air Force can learn a lot from what the Army (and USMC) have gone through pushing "decision-making with operational implications" lower down the chain.

Unfortunately the Air-Sea Battle construct (a sub-concept under the JOAC) seems to driving the Maritime Operations Center and Air Operations Center into a combined Mega Operations Center with a tremendously expanded span of command into all the "domains".

I'm convinced this will result in an unwieldy command leviathan that has no chance of keeping up with the tempo of operations required to succeed at the "access task". Others disagree.


03-25-2012, 06:17 PM
Army,Navy(and Marines),and Air Force,and Space force are all obsolete concepts.....we have known this since the late 1950's. As I bang my drum....everything is a System and we live in a world System and that means attacks will happen..... above a surface,on a surface and below a surface. Those are the working parameters no matter what you call the organization that is responsible for dealing with them. Until we begin to re-organize along those lines we are doomed..... like the Titanic....just moving around the deck chairs.

03-25-2012, 08:21 PM
I hear you Slap, but the Services remain, and feel as though they "own" their "base domain". I make the analogy to the Army in the WWI era when you had infantry corps, cavalry corps artillery corps, even an odd machine gun corps which they tried to coordinate at the operational level to achieve tactical effects. We look back now and snicker.

We are at the same point with the services trying to get cross-domain at the tactical level with c2 based on inter-service at the operational level.

Ain't gonna work. We need to find a way to form cross-service, cross domain tactical teams empowered to make decisions with operational impact. IN other words moving from "centralized control, decentralized execution" to "centralized command, delegated control, and distributed execution".

Power to the edge and all that...

Bill Moore
03-25-2012, 08:37 PM
The military organizes along domains first:

Maritime: Navy Littorial: Marines
Ground: Army
Air: Air Force
Space: Army (why not? Starship troopers :D)

We then organize along war fighting systems: Command and control, fires, medical, maneuver, intelligence, etc.

It isn't pretty, but it can be made to work. It is like a box of crayons and it is up to the operational artist to draw a concept that is attractive and makes sense. Occassionally we're challenged with abstract artists to come up with operational concepts that just don't make sense. When that happens we need to take away their crayons. :rolleyes:

03-26-2012, 12:14 PM
One of the reasons that you actually need more centralized C2 for ASBC is that the concept anticipates that forces will be operating at distance on using shared support, whether that be intelligence, air defense, EW, basing, or air refueling. If you push decisionmaking down too far, there's a greater chance that individual tactical decisions could stretch forces beyond their protection and sustainment - when you're being challenged for air superiority or base access, the plan is going to have to change constantly, and decisions made up front may result in forces being left unprotected, without key supporting coverage, or without enough gas to get to their new alternate base. The other challenge is that in a "scarcity of resources" fight that needs to be tightly synchronized between various forces to accomplish specific tactical actions, it's more difficult to provide mission type orders and expect good results. Your point about manageability is a valid one - it's questionable whether we have the C2 capabilities in tools in place to pull off highly complex ASBC scenarios, and part of the purpose of the concept is to flush these out. But you have to be careful trying to transfer "lessons learned" about decentralization from our recent conflicts, which occurred with much different entering assumptions (i.e. unchallenged air superiority, relatively stable forward based logistics, regional access, etc).

03-26-2012, 07:12 PM
What is the difference? Some say there really is none, others treat "cross domain" as 'magic pixie dust" to solve problems.

Some Thoughts and Opinions:

1-This is exactly why I think we are doomed. "Cross Domain" is some college boy definition for Amphibious attack is it not? Amphibious attack used to be defined as the conversion of one form of attack to another.....as in sea attack to land attack....sound like "Cross Domain." And now the DoD has canceled the only true "Cross Domain" vehicle we had.... the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle.

2-Again from my memory of the 60's.... the enemy will be Super National,National,or Sub-National. We need long,medium,and short range platforms that can deliever a guided missile or(some kind of muntion) against any surface of a particular system on the planet. This is where shoot, move and communicate comes from......but communicate was much broader concept back then.....it would be more like situation awarness today.

3-That is the working concept I would be looking for "Cross Domain Vehicles/Platforms" make list of what you have and what you should have.

4-"Cross Domain Vehicles" college boy stuff for Navy SEALS:D:D

03-26-2012, 08:21 PM
In the context I'm using to analyze the JOAC, you in essence have a matrix - along the vertical axis you have domains, on the horixontal axis you have missions. A given mission may incorporate elements from any number of domains. Not necessarily in the context of the same device - like an amphbious vehicle moving from sea to land (though that could ba a acase) but the point of view that accross the 4 basic tactical tasks - find, fix, affect, exploit - you can have forces or capabilities from multiple domains involved.

When you can collapse the complexity of that matrix to a single row, or a single column, things are not that hard. When you need to tightly couple multiple missions involving multiple domains - tryong to orchestrate all that at the operational level in a timely fashion gets difficult.

Yes we are going to operate at distance, but that argues for shifting "supported/supporting" realtionships during the mission - not mandating that everything be "hard-coded" before the mission starts. Th is particularly true when you are force constrained and are trying to wrest the initiative through tempo of operations. Patton vs Montgomery crossing the Rhein is a perfect example. Do you plan a hugely complex operation, with feints and massive barrages and huge amonts of air power to take the most vulnerable appearing bridge? or do you tell 10 brigade commanders - "Go take a bridge and the first one to do so gets promoted - call me if you need someting". I'm probably gettingmy history a bit wrong, but the idea is the same. Do I maximize a sngle opportunityl, or do I hedge my bets with a lot of opportunites knowing 1 is likely to pay off? The latter is "cross-domain synergy thikning" (assuming some of your opportuniteis involve differeng, complementary domains) , the huge intricately orchestrated operation is "joint synergy" - at least according to joint doctrine...

Yes it may be inefficient to delegate some control to lower levels, but when did "efficiency" become a fundamental priciple of war ?"Economy of force" does not necessarily mean "most efficient" but "most effective".

03-27-2012, 02:21 AM
"Efficiency vs. Effectiveness" is usually a false argument - it tends to emphasize local short term tactical effectiveness over broader or longer term effectiveness, which does not always equal the achievement of desired operational objectives or strategic outcomes. The reason you strive for efficiency is not for efficiency's sake, but rather to remain more effective in the broader scope of your operations, across the entire theater. The "take the bridge" analogy won't work for these kinds of operations, because there aren't 10 brigade commanders - you're probably talking about the ASBC equivalent or two or three max, all sharing the same sustainment brigade. We won't have the mass to make up for our mistakes if we don't synchronize, and gaps in defense, EW support, ISR, etc are created inadvertently by package commanders operating off of partial pictures of the larger operational situation. When you have lots of reserves and slack in your logistics, you can afford to be less efficient, but in the kinds of "operations at distance" ASBC is contemplating, you're only a couple assets deep in several critical mission areas, and some bad calls mean that airplanes start dropping out of the sky due to fuel exhaustion or botched air defense lanes. So yes, the supported/supporting relationship thing is going to be very difficult, and may have to shift dynamically between different commanders dependent on the situation - when you're using the same asset for multiple roles (i.e. CRUDES for IAMD, surface warfare, ASW, and TLAM offensive interdiction), it's going to be tough to determine which assets should play which roles even within the a single functional component (JFMCC in this case). You can't decentralized the JFC authority to apportion and reapportion rapidly, and in some special cases, you may need centralized C2 to get the kinds of permissions you need from above the JFC level. Again, it helps to have one C2 point of entry for those - especially when you need to coordinate the timing of enabling effects (space and cyber) with national assets that not even the JFC owns.

03-27-2012, 03:36 AM
When you can collapse the complexity of that matrix to a single row, or a single column, things are not that hard. When you need to tightly couple multiple missions involving multiple domains - tryong to orchestrate all that at the operational level in a timely fashion gets difficult.

That was and always has been a problem, the point of Interface between 2 or more Systems. I don't know how the new guys define Interface but it used to mean "Transfer of Function" sounds like crossing a domain:).

Still think you should redo your matrix from domains and missions to domains and vehicles ...easier,simpler and more useful..... just my 2 cents.

03-27-2012, 11:47 AM
"Efficiency vs. Effectiveness" is usually a false argument.

It can be - but the most efficient system is also the least resilient - it has single points of failure everywhere.

Fair criticism on the bridge argument - poorly considered in retrospect.

Still think you should redo your matrix from domains and missions to domains and vehicles ...easier,simpler and more useful..... just my 2 cents.

Well missions and vehicles gives you an ATO ;)

How do missions fit into your notion of domains vs vehicles?

03-28-2012, 05:35 AM
Well missions and vehicles gives you an ATO ;)

How do missions fit into your notion of domains vs vehicles?

List each domain and the vehicles they have to operate in their domain....now pick and choose the best from each based upon your mission and see if those domain owners will cooperate by sharing their vehicles to form some type of Task Force in order to accomplish the higher/broader mission.